Use this lesson in face-to-face or online lessons with your teenage learners to discuss the concept of poverty.

Cath McLellan


This lesson plan is adapted from the British Council publication Integrating global issues in the creative English language classroom, which offers classroom activities that focus on the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This lesson plan focuses on Goal 1: Ending poverty, and is based on an activity from chapter 2 of the publication. In it, students will focus on key vocabulary around the topic of poverty, discuss statistics around global poverty, discuss the meaning of wealth and well-being and consider what they need to live a poverty-free life. Finally, the students will produce a poster and present their ideas.


  • To raise awareness of the phenomenon of poverty around the globe
  • To reflect on material and non-material needs
  • To develop vocabulary around the topic of poverty
  • To develop speaking skills through a discussion

Age and level

Secondary students at CEFR level B1 and above


60 - 90 minutes


The lesson plans for face-to-face and online teaching, and classroom materials can be downloaded in PDF format below

Important - please read

To support teachers during the Covid-19 pandemic, there are two versions of this lesson plan – one specifically for online lessons and one for face-to-face classrooms where physical distancing procedures are in place. 

Included in the downloadable material, you will find the following:

  • Guidance and advice for what teachers need to know and do before and at the beginning of an online class. Please read the lesson instructions carefully before using them. They are for guidance only, and designed to be used with the most common online platforms. You may need to adapt the lesson to the format and online platform you are working with.
  • Guidance and advice on managing group and pair work activities in face-to-face classrooms with physical distancing protocols.

A combination of the lesson plan for online teaching and the lesson plan for face-to-face teaching can be used in 'hybrid' situations, where some students in the class are studying from home and others are physically in the classroom. Classroom material for online lessons is provided as a PowerPoint presentation and a PDF.

Language Level

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